A flooded field with flowering blackthorn in the background

Making more scallops

Today was the last task in the Glorious Grasslands winter habitat programme. We returned to a favourite site in the North Cotswolds, which is home to the Marsh Fritillary and has huge, south facing grassland banks.

In previous years we have cut scallops out of the wooded areas to encourage grass to move further up the slope. This year, we concentrated on a smaller section with a lot of fallen wood, and cleared a circular area in a similar manner.

I ventured to a spot a little further along which we cleared in a previous year. The grass had indeed grown up the bank, but was quite tussocky.

So, with the brush cutter, I followed the arc of the scallop and cut the grass quite short. This was then raked off to remove nutrient from the area.

A cut and raked grass bank with trees in the background
Brush cutting a scallop

It’s very satisfying to return to the same site each year because you can see what works and what doesn’t with the restoration techniques.

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